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Workshop: Maps for Syria: How Can We Use Open-source Maps to Save Property Right?

An interactive workshop on documenting the ownership rights of Syrian families and individuals to their houses and properties

On Sunday 3 November 2019 we had a mapathon with Maps for Syria at our centre in Longisght Manchester. The event offered participants the opportunity to see the house they left behind in Syria & document their right to it. The organisers of the mapathon were available throughout the session to answer participants's questions and support them in finding and mapping their houses.

The collective aim of this mapathon was to create a communal and collaborative space where Syrians get to know each other, share their stories and experiences in the hope of attaining their rights together.

Maps for Syria

Maps for Syria (MFS) is a digital-based independent initiative that uses crowdsourced mapping as a tool to support the pursuit of human rights and social and transitional justice in Syria. The initiative was founded in January 2019 by two Syrians based in the UK.

Currently, the initiative is working on its Syria HLP rights project which seeks to document the ownership rights of Syrian families and individuals to their houses and properties through drawing maps for urban cities and areas across Syria based on Satellite images available through open mapping platforms.

The priority is given to areas which fall under laws and decrees that legalise the confiscation of properties owned by Syrian citizens who fail to claim it, giving the priority to the destroyed properties a result of the conflict. The project will be carried out through multiple mapathons adopting a bottom-up approach which depends on the participation of the owners of these houses and volunteers (Syrians and non-Syrians) in the mapping process.


Shahd Mousalli

Shahd is the Co-founder of Maps for Syria (MFS). She received her master’s degree in Gender and International Development from the University of Warwick in 2018. Shahd has worked for over 3 years with several organisations and grassroots groups in Syria and in the UK in relation to refugees rights, gender justice, and peacebuilding in (post-) conflict contexts. Shahd is an advent believer in collective mobilisation and crowd-sourced methods of resistance and seeking justice.

Tameem Emam

Tameem is a civil engineer and urban practitioner, he started his career in 2016 when he first worked on shelter rehabilitation with an INGO in Rural Damascus. A year after that, he was awarded the Chevening scholarship to study an MSc in Urban development planning at UCL university in London. He works in Internews Europe as project coordinator for Human Rights Connect project.


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